Hoppy Birfday!

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I’ve had birthdays before, quite a few, actually.  Some of them were in ice cream shops, some were in Middle-Eastern Chinese restaurants, one was in the ICU after jaw surgery, one was with friends surrounding a whole lamb on a plate of rice, some were at the beach, a couple were in New Jersey, I’ve blocked the ones out that I had in Washington (or my brain cells were too alcohol saturated to retain the memories).

There have been good ones and bad ones.  I always loved the birthdays in Saudi Arabia at the Al Hambra.  As long as you could get in before the call to prayer, there was almost never a long wait.   Not only was the Arabic-Filipino-Indian version of Chinese food exquisite, but after your meal the Filipino waiters would sing, “Hoppy birfday to you, Hoppy birfthday to you!”  My sister and I would giggle (with the blind racism of youth), almost hard enough for the Bebsi to shoot out of our noses.

My sixteenth birthday in New Jersey was a treat.  I was in a fight with my two best friends and my parents forgot what day it was.  Have you watched those teen drama shows?  Those kids had nothing on me.  I wallowed in unprecedented amounts of self-pity, comparable only to the irrational behavior of Brittany Spears (only, I always wore my undies).  The pity party was my birthday, until…

My friends surprised me with more than birthday candles and gift wrap.  I was (gently) kidnapped from my dorm, blind-folded and led to the high school gymnasium.  It had been such a bad day that a small part of my brain envisioned a not-so-happy-birthday-like horror movie scenario.   Instead of a chainsaw, I hear Madonna coming from the pathetic speakers of an oversized boom box (like an Ipod, but capable of playing plastic tape cassettes, and terribly hard to transport.  John Cusak would have never had any muscles if Ipods had been around when they filmed Say Anything).  My blindfold was removed as two of the hottest post graduates (meaning people who were hot enough, but not quite bright enough to get into college, and repeated a year of high school to bring up their GPA’s).  They danced and shaked their booties as they stripped for me.  I was redder than my super cool red scrunchi in my hair.  I was redder than the kick-ass lip gloss I was sporting.  I was on fire.  They went all the way down to little tiny, skimpy, shiny, reflective undies.  It was awesome.  Embarrassing as hell, but awesome.  My adult mind is saying, “how gay can you get?” But, in my teens I still thought George Michael was just my type. Of course, even if George had been dancing in front of me, with just his guitar, I wouldn’t have allowed my sixteen year old eyes to look anywhere lower than his scruffy chin.  I must admit, as those post grads walked out of the gym, I may have sneaked a peak at their well-toned scantily clad buttocks.  Hey, I was human.

The day before my birthday this year, we spent the about 8 hours outside, playing.  There were no strippers.  We took the doggies swimming.  We ate Nepalese food and drank beer.  I learned that combining vast amounts of chicken korma with Mercenary Double IPA and sunshine can create a seriously lethal amount of gas.  For 24 hours I tried my best to rid  this country of our need for oil with the wind coming from my lower intestines powering most of the mountain states.  My daughter had numerous nightmares as the wind shook our house (the outside wind was ferocious, as well).  I awoke on my birthday feeling older than my 38 years.  This year my mother-in-law called (for the first time in the 13 years since I have been married to her son!!!), my parents remembered, my sister gave me a card and as she watched me read it, laughed like a loony-tunes character (it was a funny card… don’t fart in a wet-suit… you can imagine) and coffee money, and best of all, I danced for a full five minutes to Ben Harper, with my daughter gazing into my eyes.  Someday she’s going to look at a boyfriend like that, but for now, the love is mine.  I was the most important person in the world for five whole minutes, and I basked in that like I had in the sunshine the day before.  And after all of that, I was ready for some chocolate cake.  My intestines weren’t, but my brain was.  It was good.  The wind continued to blow.  But don’t worry, I’m starting to recover…

My two girls

comparing noses

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